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Regional connectivity scheme: GoAir seeks partners for regional play

The carrier wants to partner with smaller airlines to link unserved towns

Aneesh Phadnis  |  Mumbai: 

A GoAir aircraft taxis on the tarmac at Bengaluru International Airport in Bangalore

may partner with smaller airlines to link unserved towns as a part of the government's regional connectivity plan. Chief Executive Officer Wolfgang Prock-Schauer said on Thursday the company was “looking at possibilities” and may team with regional airlines.
 
Prock-Schauer said the airline was in preliminary discussions with regional operators but declined to name them or the nature of planned partnership.

 
Such a tie up would enable airlines to feed each others' network. The scheme allows participating airlines to with other carriers. Code shares are agreements which allow airlines to sell tickets on each others' network.
 
The government kicked off regional connectivity scheme in April, opening up 31 new airports for scheduled traffic in the first phase. Low-cost airlines SpiceJet will launch regional connectivity flights next month and IndiGo has ordered ATR aircraft to participate in the scheme.
 
But unlike its rivals, will stick to a single aircraft fleet of Airbus A320 and will not order small turboprop planes, Prock-Schauer said.
 
has 144 Airbus A320Neo planes on order due for delivery over the next 10 years. It has 23 aircraft now, including five A320Neo, and is facing an eight-month delay because of technical issues with the engines. Issues related to engines have now been addressed and the airline expects to induct an additional 13 A320Neo aircraft this financial year. It has also inducted two aircraft on dry lease to fill capacity shortage.
 
Delays have also led the airline to postpone the launch of its international flights to winter schedule and defer the proposed initial public offering (IPO). Prock-Schauer said that the airline is not in a rush to do an IPO and is exploring all options for fundraising. “We will need to raise some capital but we are not in a hurry,” he said. He also denied that the airline had appointed banks to manage the IPO.
 
“We are strengthening our presence in the domestic market and will focus on the existing markets and routes. We will not go overboard in adding new destinations. For our international operations, we are looking at underserved markets with high demand from India,” he said. The airline also launched its new aviation security training institute on Thursday as it prepares for expansion.

First Published: Fri, June 23 2017. 00:06 IST
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